Earlier this week, the Future Women’s Leadership Summit was held in Sydney and attended by a number of business women and men from across the country. At the Summit, Commonwealth Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Matt Comyn, spoke about the bank’s Next Chapter program, including the recently launched CommBank Next Chapter Commitment, as well as the bank’s future plans for the entire program. 

“In 2020, we launched Next Chapter – which is our commitment to reduce and, aspirationally, stamp out, financial abuse. As part of this, we entered into a couple of partnerships – one with Good Shepherd. Through this partnership we provide the Financial Independence Hub. We provide one to one coaching, as well as other resources, including – if it is appropriate – interest free loans to help people (irrespective of who they bank with). We also set up a dedicated Community Wellbeing team which helped more than 22,000 Australians last year access the right support,” Mr Comyn told the Summit.

“We have a very clear vision of elimination of financial abuse. That seems a long way off, but clearly we want to substantially reduce it across the broader community. We recognise it is a whole of community problem and will need a whole of community approach.”

As part of this whole community approach, last month Commonwealth Bank launched the CommBank Next Chapter Commitment – a campaign designed to raise awareness of, and bring an end to, the issue of financial abuse.

The Commitment – which is supported by a significant television, print, digital and radio campaign – sees CBA, customers and the community come together to help end financial abuse by providing tools, advice and access to support services to help individuals recover from financial abuse and establish financial independence.

Mr Comyn told the Summit how the bank, through CommBank Next Chapter, had built excellent relationships with key industry stakeholders, government bodies and academia in a bid to help better understand the issue of financial abuse and, in turn, develop the right resources for those impacted.  

Most recently, the bank commissioned Deloitte to conduct new research into the impact of financial abuse in Australia. According to the report, the direct cost of financial abuse to victims is estimated to be $5.7 billion, with an estimated additional cost to the broader Australian economy of $5.2 billion.

“We want to shine a light on this issue and try and make a very substantial reduction in financial abuse,” Mr Comyn told the Summit attendees.

“I am fortunate enough to work with a team of people who have really championed and led a series of initiatives designed to stamp out financial abuse. We have made progress, but there is still more to do.”